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Jul 29 2012

F1 2012: Hungaroring

So after all the teams burned up their good rubber on yesterday’s Qualifying today catches everybody on the wrong foot with car setups and tire management.

It will be dry.

This is good news for the pole sitters actually since their setups have already proven successful and the only hope for the back markers is that their fewer laps will be able to keep them on track enough longer to offset their demonstrated speed disadvantage.  We’ll be seeing the same Mediums (Prime) and Softs (Option) that we’ve seen most of the season.

The commentators are convinced that Red Bull has been hamstrung by the decision outlawing their engine torque mapping system, but I look at the results of Qualifying and I’m not persuaded yet.  Sure Webber is out in Q2, but Vettel puts the same car in 3rd.  Rosberg and Schumacher are mild disappointments for Mercedes fans, but the team has had good and bad weeks all season.

Why the big deal about Qualifying?  The Hungaroring has a reputation for driving like Monaco.  What people mean by this is that despite being a lot faster on lap times, it’s a horrible place to pass and cars tend to end up in the same grid they started unless they blow up or park in a wall.

Summarizing the season at the August break my impressions are that Alonso has an unassailable lead in the drivers’ standings because his rivals are inconsistent in their results in addition to his being an improved driver in an improved car (for proof look at Massa).

Red Bull would be in trouble except for the reliability issue.  Until their opponents can consistently put 2 drivers in the points no one can catch them.  McLaren engineering is quite good, but their race management sucks.  Ferrari deserves praise for producing a better car, or at least one Alonso is comfortable in.

The main points if interest will be whether any teams from mid-pack will be able to really effect a race or not and which ones will they be.  Renault and Mercedes are candidates, but there won’t be any improvements.

They’re on vacation damnit.

Pretty tables below.

Starting Grid

Grid Driver Team Q-Time Q-Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 01:20.953 18
2 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 01:21.366 26
3 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 01:21.416 18
4 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 01:21.583 22
5 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 01:21.730 22
6 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 01:21.844 19
7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 01:21.900 19
8 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 01:21.939 22
9 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 01:22.343 24
10 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 01:22.847 19
11 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 01:21.715 17
12 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 01:21.813 15
13 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 01:21.895 16
14 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 01:21.895 17
15 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 01:22.300 17
16 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 01:22.380 10
17 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 01:22.723 17
18 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 01:23.250 8
19 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 01:23.576 8
20 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 01:24.167 7
21 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 01:25.244 9
22 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 01:25.476 10
23 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 01:25.916 9
24 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 01:26.178 11

Driver Standings

Rank Driver Team Points
1 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 154
2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 120
3 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 110
4 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 98
5 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 92
6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 76
7 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 68
8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 61
9 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 47
10 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 33
11 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 29
12 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 29
13 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 27
14 Felipe Massa Ferrari 23
15 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 19
16 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 18
17 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 4

Constructor Standings

Rank Team Points
1 Red Bull 230
2 Ferrari 177
3 McLaren 160
4 Lotus 159
5 Mercedes 105
6 Sauber 80
7 Williams 47
8 Force India 46
9 Toro Rosso 6

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